The Australia-Indonesia Centre

Aus indo logoWe worked with The Australia-Indonesia Centre from October 2015 to January 2018.

Read some highlights from their research stories here.

And read Stories of Australia-Indonesia Innovation here.

Find out more about the Centre on their website.

Indonesian and Australian scientists test new TB vaccine targets for the TB fight in Indonesia and Australia

World TB Day on March 24 reminds us of the growing TB threat

Scientists available for interview in English and Bahasa Indonesia for World TB Day. Read the release in Bahasa Indonesia.
More images below.

Better vaccines are needed for the global fight against tuberculosis (TB). The Global Fund reports an estimated nine million new cases globally per year of TB, which is second only to AIDS as the world’s most deadly infectious disease. Indonesia had more than 320,000 reported cases in 2014 according to the World Health Organization, while Australia’s reported cases were just over 1,000. But the rise of drug-resistant TB poses a threat to all countries.

Two proteins from the tuberculosis bacterium have shown promising results in investigations in mice for a new vaccine. Scientists from the Centenary Institute and the University of Sydney, with colleagues at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta, have found that the injected proteins can prime the immune system to induce protection against TB in mice.

The team has established a laboratory and immunological techniques to test if the two proteins from the tuberculosis bacterium can be used as the basis for a vaccine. Credit: Centenary Institute

The team has established a laboratory and immunological techniques to test if the two proteins from the tuberculosis bacterium can be used as the basis for a vaccine. Credit: Centenary Institute

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Can sunshine help prevent pneumonia?

Scientists available for interview in Bahasa Indonesia and English.

Background information here.

Photos here. Read the release in Bahasa Indonesia.

The possibility of a link between vitamin D deficiency and pneumonia is being investigated in two studies by Indonesian and Australian scientists in Indonesia.
They’re tracking the incidence and severity in early childhood of respiratory tract infections, including the common cold, asthma, pneumonia, and bronchiolitis, in hospitals and the community, in the hope of providing more information for treatment and management for respiratory diseases.
#TB and pneumonia - iStock

Researchers are investigating a possible link between pneumonia and a lack of vitamin D.

Pneumonia is the number one killer of children under five in the country, and around six million young Indonesians suffer from it each year, according to a 2008 study. This collaboration is going to update those 2008 figures, and hopefully lower them – while trying to find the causes of it and other respiratory tract infections. [continue reading…]

Can sunshine help prevent pneumonia – background

Read in Bahasa Indonesia.

In 2008, a study funded by the World Health Organisation, UNICEF and the Gates Foundation estimated that Indonesia was among the top six countries in the world for the number of new cases of pneumonia in children under five, says University of Melbourne PhD student and physician, Dr Vicka Oktaria of Gadjah Mada University.

She is coordinating collaborative research with scientists from Australia and Indonesia, to see if there’s a link between vitamin D deficiency and pneumonia in Indonesian children.

“But that estimate was based on an epidemiological model and most of the data is now 10 years old.”

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Fishing for food security

Scientists available for interview in Bahasa Indonesia and English. More images below. Read the release in Bahasa Indonesia.

Fish form a large part of the diet for many living on small islands. Credit: Australia Indonesia Centre

Fish form a large part of the diet for many living on small islands. Credit: Australia Indonesia Centre

Local fishermen in Indonesia are catching less fish. Whatever the reason, it is a significant problem for those who live on small islands in particular, as fish make up about 90 per cent of the protein they eat.
A team of Indonesian and Australian social scientists is looking at how communities adapt to these changes.

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Riding the rails to an efficient freight system

Scientists available for interview in Bahasa Indonesia and English. Read the release in Bahasa Indonesia.

From 2016 a specially-equipped standard railcar will be rocking and rolling along the tracks of East Java. It will have carefully positioned sensors to detect its movement during normal operation, including its displacement and vibration.

Improving the rail systems may have far-reaching benefits. Credit:

Improving the rail systems may have far-reaching benefits. Credit: Institute of Railway Technology (IRT)

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Power to the islands

Scientists available for interview in Bahasa Indonesia and English. More images below. 

View the release in Bahasa Indonesia here. Or read about the other collaborative research projects announced with the opening of the Indonesian Clean Energy Centre of Excellence in Bali on Thursday 11 Feb.

Over sixty-five million Indonesians live off the grid. But what does that mean in the era of micro-grids, batteries and efficient solar panels? And how do communities change with 24/7 energy?
Providing reliable electric power is one of the keys to unlocking the potential of the remote islands and landlocked areas of Indonesia and of Australia’s north, a priority for both countries.
How do communities change with 24/7 energy? Indonesian and Australian scientists are working to find out. Credit: Max Richter

How do communities change with 24/7 energy? Indonesian and Australian scientists have study sites, including villages in the Kai Islands, to find out. Credit: Max Richter

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Power to the people

Indonesia and Australia to research delivering power to remote communities and to grow cities

View the release in Bahasa Indonesia here.

Announcing a portfolio of research projects:

  • To bring sustainable energy to remote communities.
  • To increase the reliability of Indonesia’s urban power.
  • To guide Indonesia as it boosts its electricity generating capacity by 70 per cent.
  • To help Australia decarbonise/move away from coal.
  • Trials in Borneo and Kai Besar (off West Papua).

Researchers available for interview in Bahasa Indonesia and English. More images below.

Today the Indonesian Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources, Sudirman Said, will open the Indonesian Clean Energy Centre of Excellence in Bali, with Australia to be an important partner in the Centre’s new activities.
Local and national projects assessing clean energy options are underway by Indonesian and Australian scientists. Credit: Max Richter

Local and national projects assessing clean energy options are underway by Indonesian and Australian scientists. Credit: Max Richter

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Putting a window and lasers in a ship’s hull

Melbourne and Indonesian scientists work to improve shipping efficiency

Scientists available for interview in Bahasa Indonesia and English. Video overlay and photos of ferry available below.

Read the release in Bahasa Indonesia.

Every shipping manager wages an endless battle against fouling – the bacteria, seaweed, barnacles and other marine life that take residence on the hull of ships. This biofouling is thought to add more than 20 per cent to the fuel costs of commercial shipping. That’s a big cost for the maritime trading nations of Australia and Indonesia.

Using lasers and a window in a ship’s hull, researchers will assess how quickly the efficiency of the ship declines, and then how to balance fuel efficiency and the cost of putting a ship in dry dock to clean it.

A ship travelling between Java and South Samatra has had 30 centimetre windows installed in its hull for the research. Credit: Nadia Astari

A ship travelling between Java and South Samatra has had 30 centimetre windows installed in its hull for the research. Credit: Nadia Astari

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Memasang jendela dan laser di lambung kapal

Para ilmuwan Surabaya dan Australia bekerja sama untuk meningkatkan efisiensi perkapalan

Para ilmuwan bersedia diwawancarai dalam Bahasa Indonesia dan Bahasa Inggris. Liputan video dan foto kapal feri dapat dilihat di http://australiaindonesiacentre.org/media

Setiap manajer perkapalan terus-menerus berjuang memerangi fouling (proses menempelnya biota pada permukaan kapal) – yaitu bakteri, rumput laut, teritip, dan mahkluk laut lain yang mendiami lambung kapal. Biofouling ini dianggap dapat menaikkan biaya bahan bakar kapal komersial lebih dari 20 persen. Ini merupakan biaya yang besar bagi aktivitas perniagaan maritim antara Australia dan Indonesia.
Dengan menggunakan laser dan jendela di lambung kapal, para peneliti dapat menilai seberapa cepat efisiensi kapal berkurang, dan bagaimana cara menyeimbangkan antara efisiensi bahan bakar dan biaya parkir di dok apung (dry dock) untuk membersihkan kapal.
The window needs cleaning periodically by a diver. Credit: Nadia Astari

The outside of the window in the hull will need cleaning periodically by a diver. Credit: Nadia Astari

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